Upon selection of MUMA’s design, chair of the judging panel Tom Blooxhan M. B. E said, “All of the short-listed designs were outstanding and had unique strengths, however MUMA’s shone in its thoughtful and sensitive response to a complex brief. Amongst many delightful touches the prospect of visiting a café in the tree canopy was particularly enjoyed, along with many further connections between the gallery and surrounding park landscape. MUMA demonstrated care not only in the development of new design but also in their consideration of improvements to the existing building.”
The architects will now work on a detailed design of a new second entrance and extension for the gallery, connecting it more directly with Whitworth Park in which it is situated at the southern gateway of the University of Manchester campus. Plans call for an art garden, second entrance, a new informal café in the trees, a landscape gallery and a study area. Developed plans will presented as part of the final stage of the Whitworth’s Heritage Lottery Fund Bid in 2010.